Health Effects of Economic Crises Nov 09, 2016 By Christopher J. Ruhm Health Effects of Economic Crises This analysis summarizes prior research and uses national, US state and county‐level data from 1976 to 2013 to examine whether the mortality effects of economic crises differ in kind from those of the more typical fluctuations. The tentative conclusion is that economic crises affect mortality rates (and presumably other measures of health) in the same way as less severe downturns – leading to improvements in physical health. The effects of severe national recessions in the USA appear to have a beneficial effect on mortality that is roughly twice as strong as that predicted by the elevated unemployment rates alone, while the higher predicted rate of suicides during typical periods of economic weakness is approximately offset during severe recessions. No consistent pattern is obtained for more localized economic crises occurring at the state level – some estimates suggest larger protective mortality effects while others indicate offsetting deleterious consequences. Areas of focus Economics Christopher J. Ruhm Christopher J. Ruhm (@christopherruhm) is a Professor of Public Policy & Economics at the University of Virginia. Read full bio Related Content Christopher J. Ruhm Oklahoma Wanted $17 Billion To Fight Its Opioid Crisis: What's The Real Cost? Research The state's plan — and the basis of that $17 billion ask — was looking at abatement for the next three decades. That 30-year plan was authored by Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia. He says you can easily get into the billions when you consider the costs of dealing with this epidemic in the long term. Cognitive Performance and Labour Market Outcomes Research We use the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and other sources to examine how cognitive performance near the end of secondary schooling relates to labour market outcomes through age fifty. Our preferred estimates control for individual and family backgrounds, non-cognitive attributes, and survey years. New Research: Non-Opioid Drug Death Rates Are Also on the Rise News The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses has risen rapidly in the last decade, with opioids viewed as the primary culprit. However, recent research suggests that opioids are not the only drug involved. According to Batten professor of economics, Christopher J. Ruhm, half of the overdose deaths have involved polydrug use and deaths involving nonopioid drugs are rising almost as fast as those involving opioids.